At the cross roads of Novosel Street and Ruf Avenue, Fort Rucker dedicates two long roads of service to our country.
Fifth Avenue renamed to Ruf, after CW- 4 William Ruf- A pioneer in army aviation who dedicated more than 50 years to federal service, a large amount of his time spent at Fort Rucker. He was part of the first aviation class at the post then called Camp Rucker.
Maj. Gen. Kevin Mangum, Commanding General Ft. Rucker said, “And he saw our branch grow, our army aviation grow from a small grow from a small infant capability to one that was critical and indispensible.”
This intersection will forever mark the legacy of two pioneer aviators…who were also best friends.
Mike Novosel and Willie Ruf were brothers in arms in the truest sense…a bond created by serving our country.
Brian Crawford, Ruf’s Grandson said, “They were so humble I can only imagine them kind of saying well what’s all this big deal about we were called at the time to serve our nation and that is what we did.”
Humble friends, but true competitors.
Crawford said, “But behind closed doors I’m sure it’s a competition of ‘well more cars drive on my road than yours.’ Or something like that.”
Maj, Gen. Mangum said, “I am sure they are looking and bickering over which street is more important. The one that goes in front of the headquarters or the one that is the longest.”
It is friendship that will continue to stand together, ”above the best."
Before passing away in 2007 Ruf flew presidents including Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Nixon and numerous Heads of State. The road to the dedication was a long process full of review by the memorialzation committee.